Connecting with your guests and making sure their stay was pleasant and memorable, is an essential part of creating customer loyalty and repeat stay business. Now that OTAs are taking the bulk of hotel room bookings, and direct bookings are falling, connecting with your guests has never been so important. Here are five ways you can make sure your guest is provided with an experience that will encourage them to return again and again.
Train your staff well and keep them happy
Easier said than done – but the quality of staff is at the heart of the hospitality experience for your guests. If your staff can’t answer essential questions or take too long to serve a customer, frustrations arise and a feeling of negativity will associate the guest with the hotel. For example, if a room isn’t ready when a guest arrives, set aside the time to explain to them why, let them know you are sorting out the problem as fast as you can, and offer them a pleasant place to wait.
A complimentary coffee of beverage, while they wait, is always welcome. Slow restaurant services is another big no-no for guests. If they have to wait 45 minutes for their meal to appear – or if their server is slow, it’s a negative point against the hotel and will put them off booking a stay again.
Manage guest expectations
Every guest has a different expectation of their stay. Staff members need to be able to manage these expectations politely and in a hospitable manner. During the reservation process, there should be a system in place whereby information regarding each guest is recorded and noted. Unfortunately, because many bookings are made through OTA booking sites, such customer information isn’t always readily available to the hotel, prior to the guest’s arrival. As such hotels need to find ways to appease and assess guests quickly upon arrival.
There are no one-size-fits-all here, because every guest is different – from the family travelling together, to the business conference attendee, and the elderly person travelling alone. Staff must once again be able to pinpoint certain needs without being chased up or responding negatively to reasonable requests. Spare cots for children – and a babysitting service offered as standard, early room service for the business traveller with a plane to catch.
Offering a quiet table in the restaurant to the elderly person who prefers to dine early and in peace. When you make someone’s stay special, you connect with them emotionally. That feeling of positivity will result in them rebooking – or recommending your property to their friends.
Collect guest feedback
It’s very important to understand exactly what your guests really think of the hotel experience you are providing. One thing an OTA cannot dominate is the hospitality and care your guest receives. Often, a guest won’t verbally complain about a service. So it’s important to give them the opportunity to respond and make suggestions regarding their stay. A feedback form is also a great way to collect customer data for marketing purposes. Incentives, such a discount offered for birthday stays, and an opportunity to contact them with offers when they arise.